Heart-Shaped Vanilla Cupcakes

updated Feb 11, 2020
Valentine's Day
Heart-Shaped Vanilla Cupcakes

Here's how to make cute heart-shaped cupcakes for Valentine's Day with minimal effort, and no special equipment.

Makes24 cupcakes

Prep10 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: CC Buckley

Cupcakes will forever be one of the best treats to make for and share with a crowd. They’re easy to make (especially if you start with a boxed mix), they’re fun to decorate, and no utensils or silverware are required to serve them. If you need a Valentine’s Day dessert for a classroom party or office potluck, these cupcakes are for you. Here’s how to make cute heart-shaped cupcakes with minimal effort.

Easy Heart-Shaped Cupcakes, No Special Pan Required

I’m all for making things heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day — as long as it doesn’t require special tools or result in unnecessary waste. Turns out, you can make heart-shaped cupcakes using any old cupcake pan with just a tiny ball of aluminum foil or marble. Squeezed between the cupcake well and a paper liner, either object will help your batter bake up into a heart shape. Just be sure not to over-fill the liners, or you’ll lose that distinct shape.

As for decorating, piping a simple vanilla icing in the shape of a heart will drive home the Valentine’s Day theme. After frosting, dip the cupcakes in your favorite sprinkles.

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: CC Buckley

10 Easy Valentine’s Day Treats for Any Occasion

Whether you’re celebrating a sweetie or just celebrating sweets, Valentine’s Day is a great holiday for breaking out the treats. We scoured the web, polled our team, and landed on 10 Valentine’s Day treats to make for your office, classroom, or special someone, showing you the easiest ways to make them at home.

Heart-Shaped Vanilla Cupcakes

Here's how to make cute heart-shaped cupcakes for Valentine's Day with minimal effort, and no special equipment.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Makes 24 cupcakes

Nutritional Info


  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • Cooking spray

  • 48

    paper cupcake liners

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box

    vanilla cake mix

  • 2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1 cup

    mini nonpareil sprinkles


  1. Place 1 stick unsalted butter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, and let soften at room temperature while you bake the cupcakes. Coat a standard 12-well cupcake pan with cooking spray and line with a double layer of paper cupcake liners. (If you have 2 cupcake pans, use both.) Place a marble or marble-size ball of aluminum foil between the cupcake papers and the muffin pan in each well to create a dent in the papers to shape it into a heart.

  2. Prepare 1 package vanilla cake mix according to package directions. Add 1/3 cup of the batter to each well — do not overfill. Bake according to package directions. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If needed, re-line the cupcake pan and bake the remaining batter.

  3. Use an electric hand mixer or the paddle attachment to beat the butter for 1 minute. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and continue to beat on high speed until the frosting is smooth and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Transfer the frosting to a large zip-top bag, then cut off a bottom corner. Pipe the frosting on the top of each cupcake, tracing the heart shape. Pour 1 cup mini nonpareil sprinkles into a small bowl. Dip the top of each cupcake into the sprinkles.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.